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Being sued by skiier? - Page 6

post #151 of 172
It's just laughable that folks want to project some other person's bad skiing onto me. I've never knocked anyone out of their boots, I assure you. I have skied enough, though, both training and teaching, to know that there will be times where every skier loses control. Most of the time good skiers will recover... but still there is a momentary window where the addition of one unexpected obstacle will make things fall apart. Anyone who believes otherwise should take up residence in fantasy land. In some cases it is actually more likely to happen when you are SURE you are skiing under control... (just like most car accidents happen within a few miles of your house.) But I suppose it's easier to call names and try to bully someone than actually show some consideration.

Ghost is right - a court is going to decide, and the things that are going to decide if you get to court in the first place is what kind of target you are. Own a house? Have a decent job? Some cash in the bank? You have a bullseye on your back. Consider checking your umbrella coverage before you hit the slopes (yes, that's part of my gripe about access being restricted)

Have a ton of debt? No assets? Lousy credit score? Probably doesn't matter how at-fault you were, the plaintiff isn't going to get a lawyer on contingency to take that case to trial. Most will be looking to get their client a modest out-of-court settlement, with minimal hours dedicated to the case.

In the end, if your wealthy enough to pad the pockets of insurance companies and/or lawyers as part of enjoying your skiing, there's no problem. If your a charity case who traded in your food stamps for some used skis, you also have no problem. But if you fall into that swath of average middle class guy out to enjoy one of the most trilling sports around, well, you may setting yourself up for a raw deal.

A few things to remember also. When you ski out west you have to appear in court out west. And laws, including case law, vary from state to state. Colorado (as a "family ski destination state") has one of the most litigation favourable set of laws out there, and don't think it's a coincidence that skiing is a major share of their economic activity. Here's a somewhat dated piece on Colorado law if your interested: Ski Law in Colorado: The Timorous No Longer Stay Home

And superficial appearances can matter more than the actual facts. What do you think your chances are in front of a jury of local folks who have to listen for hours about the poor local guy who is nos in a wheelchair? If the other guys lawyer can make you look / sound like the "stereotypical 20-something reckless ex-racer from out of state", you are toast. (Don't believe it - just look at how quick people on this forum who know absolutely nothing about me beyond speculation and conjecture are ready to accuse me of beating up poor defenceless grannies!)

Finally, I want to reiterate from an earlier post that the worst thing you can do is leave the scene. Regardless of what did or didn't happen, if you leave the scene, people will automatically think you were doing something wrong. Often that's not so - you just might be young / immature and afraid to present your side of things. In that case contact your parents and tell ski patrol you are too shaken up and want your parents (or you want to see a medic). Have them take you down the hill in the sled to the patrol office if necessary - they may just offer to ski down with you, but you can insist you need the sled, even if you think your OK. You can always change your mind and decline the sled later. Use the time to regain your composure. You don't have to be pressured to "admitting anything" on the hill. For example, you might think it helps your case to say that you are an expert skier, but in fact you may be subjecting yourself to a higher "expert" standard of care and controlled skiing.
post #152 of 172

I apologise @gdeangel.  Somehow I got the obviously mistaken impression from what you wrote that you did indeed ski fast into blind areas, and not that you were just pointing out the contributory negligence of the other party stopped in the blind spot. 

post #153 of 172

if you're in the US and someone can show damage due to your negligence, they have a shot at winning.

post #154 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiinger View Post
 

I was skiing today, and I was carving at fast speed, but carefully. Never close to people at high speeds. I carved down this trail with nobody on it, and there was this big mound caused by the snowmaker that I hit and went over. There was a woman on the other side, completely invisible from above. It wasn't a terrain park jump or anything. Just in the middle of a blue trail. I slammed into the woman and apparently injured her. She screamed that she will be suing me, took my picture and a video of me when I stopped to help her. After she started yelling, I skied away. She got my name from my pass. Experienced skiers, have lawsuits like this ever won? Does this woman actually have a case?


First of all what state where you in?  I think that has the potential to make a big impact.

 

If you were in Colorado, New Hampshire, or Vermont, you will be in need of a good attorney if they come calling.  Wyoming may be the most forgiving from what I have read in the past about skiers stopping in blind spots and knowing the code.

 

The big thing from the lawsuits I have seen in Utah, and Colorado in past years (and being called in as an expert witness twice in Colorado (once for the plaintiff, and once for the defendant both by the same law firm) is that you have to prove negligence.  The saving piece for what I have hear or read about in Wyoming is the following piece of the code: You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or where you are not visible from above.  I have seen it in Colorado where the person sued because of damage to their equipment in small claims and even won that case.

 

That portion lends to negligence on the woman treating to sue you.  The rest of it all lends to her case, and depending on the state the potential liability.

 

Hopefully she was just blowing off hot air, and isn't truly injured.

post #155 of 172

OP is long gone. driven away by our inane babbling

post #156 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post
 

OP is long gone. driven away by our inane babbling


lol

 

inane babbling from a bunch of ski nerds??? no way....

post #157 of 172

Yes, the OP can be sued.  It doesn't mean he will be.

 

Some thoughts:

 

How badly the woman was injured? Does she have extensive medical bills? Did she have to miss work? etc.  There needs to be some real money lost to make it worth a lawsuit.  If you just knocked the wind out of her, she was probably more pissed off than anything else. If ski patrol didn't take her down in a sled, you are probably okay.

 

They need your name and address to know who to sue. You do have a duty to stop and provide contact information if there was an accident.

 

Will your homeowners insurance cover you?  Do you you have any assets or any money?  If you are poor and/or uninsured, it's not worth going after you.  They can't squeeze blood from a stone. It may be easier to go after the ski area because it has deeper pockets.

 

Sometimes her health insurance will pay her medical bills and then go after you to be reimbursed. But it may not be worth it for them if her expense are small or it will cost them more money to try to collect from you.

 

And that's all before the actual liability: Were you going too fast? Did she stop where she couldn't be seen?  Was the ski area at fault somehow? This is where it is good to have witnesses.  Ski patrol should write up an accident report too.

 

Good luck. If you do get served legal papers, get a lawyer.

post #158 of 172

Yeah, since the OP doesn't seem to have come back in some time, I thought I'd throw this out there, even though its not particularly helpful to him (esp. if this didn't happen in CO, which, as many have stated is important but missing info):

 

Ulysses v. Shvartsman 61 F.3d 805 (1995)

 

https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=2515897818351847012&hl=en&as_sdt=6&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr

 

Its kind of funny because there are several skiing metaphors in the opinion, such as: "On review, we cut our own trail equipped with the same gear supplied by Fed.R.Civ.P. 56"

 

​The case holds that granting summary judgement (in short, asking the court to determine the case without having a trial because all of the legal and factual issues are clear) was inappropriate under CO law because genuine factual disputes existed. It has a good discussion of the applicable negligence per se statute:

 

"Hence, we begin with § 33-44-109(2) under which Ms. Ulissey alleged Mr. Shvartsman was 100% liable.

This subsection provides:

Each skier has the duty to maintain control of his speed and course at all times when skiing and to maintain a proper lookout so as to be able to avoid other skiers and objects. However, the primary duty shall be on the person skiing downhill to avoid collision with any person or objects below him.

Given the commonly accepted and understood meaning of the words in this subsection, Climax Molybdenum Co. v. Walter, 812 P.2d 1168, 1173 (Colo.1991),"each skier" has the duty to keep a "proper lookout," which is defined in context alone as looking "to avoid other skiers or objects." Each skier also has a duty to ski in control — maintaining a safe speed and course trajectory to facilitate a proper lookout. While the uphill skier has the better opportunity to observe people and objects below, that skier's duty to keep a proper lookout is considered primary but nothing in the statute makes that skier's duty exclusive. Thus, when a collision occurs, the statute creates the presumption that the uphill skier, if there is an uphill skier, had the better opportunity to avoid the collision. However, the Colorado Supreme Court has stated, the statutory presumption remains rebuttable. Pizza v. Wolf Creek, 711 P.2d at 679." at 809.

post #159 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by HooDooThere View Post
 

Yeah, since the OP doesn't seem to have come back in some time, I thought I'd throw this out there, even though its not particularly helpful to him (esp. if this didn't happen in CO, which, as many have stated is important but missing info):

 

Ulysses v. Shvartsman 61 F.3d 805 (1995)

 

https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=2515897818351847012&hl=en&as_sdt=6&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr

 

Its kind of funny because there are several skiing metaphors in the opinion, such as: "On review, we cut our own trail equipped with the same gear supplied by Fed.R.Civ.P. 56"

 

​The case holds that granting summary judgement (in short, asking the court to determine the case without having a trial because all of the legal and factual issues are clear) was inappropriate under CO law because genuine factual disputes existed. It has a good discussion of the applicable negligence per se statute:

 

"Hence, we begin with § 33-44-109(2) under which Ms. Ulissey alleged Mr. Shvartsman was 100% liable.

This subsection provides:

Each skier has the duty to maintain control of his speed and course at all times when skiing and to maintain a proper lookout so as to be able to avoid other skiers and objects. However, the primary duty shall be on the person skiing downhill to avoid collision with any person or objects below him.

Given the commonly accepted and understood meaning of the words in this subsection, Climax Molybdenum Co. v. Walter, 812 P.2d 1168, 1173 (Colo.1991),"each skier" has the duty to keep a "proper lookout," which is defined in context alone as looking "to avoid other skiers or objects." Each skier also has a duty to ski in control — maintaining a safe speed and course trajectory to facilitate a proper lookout. While the uphill skier has the better opportunity to observe people and objects below, that skier's duty to keep a proper lookout is considered primary but nothing in the statute makes that skier's duty exclusive. Thus, when a collision occurs, the statute creates the presumption that the uphill skier, if there is an uphill skier, had the better opportunity to avoid the collision. However, the Colorado Supreme Court has stated, the statutory presumption remains rebuttable. Pizza v. Wolf Creek, 711 P.2d at 679." at 809.

Pizza vs Wolf Creek? If the guy had pizza'd instead of french fried we wouldn't be having this discussion.

post #160 of 172

Not a lawyer, and didn't wade through the whole thread, but you seem like an advertisement for not "carving at fast speed but carefully." Your fault, IMO, because you were uphill, you failed to ski in a manner and at a speed that was appropriate for the conditions (blue run full of beginners and intermediates, and apparently piles of snow from a snowmaker), and oh yeah, you fled. You might argue for diminished capacity: Delusions of being a better skier than you are...

post #161 of 172
What about on a traverse? 2 skiers going across one turns downhill into another skier that is traversing.
post #162 of 172

"People ahead of you have the right of way," so it depends, I suppose, on whether the person turning hits the downhill skier, or vice versa. I suppose.  

 

Words are notoriously difficult to use in descriptions of reality.

post #163 of 172

Skiing too fast over a blind crest equals recklessness IMHO.

 

 

A similar event occurred when I took my sibling skiing who was an intermediate skier but had returned to skiing for the first time after a  lengthy illness.  At Stratton in VT, we were skiing down an intermediate trail and my sibling had a small wipe out on the side of the trail and didn't pop back up right away.  Some clown flying down clipped the back of my sibling's head with his ski tip because he was out of control.  He didn't stop right away but I grabbed one of his skis to force him to wait for the ski patrol to show up. 

 

I am not sure who I was more PO'd at.  The guy that hit her.  The ~12 year old kid on the lift above sarcastically saying "waa, waaa, call an ambulance" before my sibling was carted down on the ski patrol sled. OR the Stratton Ski Patrol that let this clown ski away without a peep.  Had I known the Ski Patrol would let him ski away, I would have taken his ski and chucked it in a ravine or deep in the woods or even better leveraged something to snap it in half.  The only reason I kept my composure was the fact I thought the ski patrol would help enforce the skier's responsibility code.  I also would think someone on the lift would have called out the ~12 y/o on the lift but that is another story.

 

Stratton ended up giving us a couple of day's passes for free when I communicated how crappy they handled the situation.  The passes didn't end up working for some reason.  I have never returned to Stratton for that reason and because it is a crappy, crowded southern vt ski area.

 

 

If one cannot ski in a manner in which a reasonable person could stop or avoid another skier, either don't ski or face the consequences when you end up hurting someone.

post #164 of 172
Uphill skier's fault, but if downhill skier had a lick of sense he'd make his presence known. I'm in this situation all the time. Better if the trailing skier downhill had started passing uphill, but if not possible, at least tell the uphill guy who may head into you that you're there just for self defense. Uphill skier should have glanced back before suddenly changing his traverse into something else.
post #165 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by skidew View Post
 

Skiing too fast over a blind crest equals recklessness IMHO.

 

 

A similar event occurred when I took my sibling skiing who was an intermediate skier but had returned to skiing for the first time after a  lengthy illness.  At Stratton in VT, we were skiing down an intermediate trail and my sibling had a small wipe out on the side of the trail and didn't pop back up right away.  Some clown flying down clipped the back of my sibling's head with his ski tip because he was out of control.  He didn't stop right away but I grabbed one of his skis to force him to wait for the ski patrol to show up. 

 

I am not sure who I was more PO'd at.  The guy that hit her.  The ~12 year old kid on the lift above sarcastically saying "waa, waaa, call an ambulance" before my sibling was carted down on the ski patrol sled. OR the Stratton Ski Patrol that let this clown ski away without a peep.  Had I known the Ski Patrol would let him ski away, I would have taken his ski and chucked it in a ravine or deep in the woods or even better leveraged something to snap it in half.  The only reason I kept my composure was the fact I thought the ski patrol would help enforce the skier's responsibility code.  I also would think someone on the lift would have called out the ~12 y/o on the lift but that is another story.

 

Stratton ended up giving us a couple of day's passes for free when I communicated how crappy they handled the situation.  The passes didn't end up working for some reason.  I have never returned to Stratton for that reason and because it is a crappy, crowded southern vt ski area.

 

 

If one cannot ski in a manner in which a reasonable person could stop or avoid another skier, either don't ski or face the consequences when you end up hurting someone.

 

Hi Skidew — Welcome to Epic!

 

I assume the skier who hit your cousin lost a ski, is that right?

 

The whole thing was clearly a bummer — and the 12 year old sardonic kid thing could use a thread all to itself (were it not so useless a topic — middle school attitudes don't look to go away soon.)

post #166 of 172

The guy that hit her happily skied off and enjoyed the rest of his day skiing while we spent the remainder in the Ski Patrol Office getting emergency aid and specifically stitches if I recall correctly.

post #167 of 172

What an odd thread. Someone hits a stopped downhill skier and flees the scene - and we are debating who's at fault? I also find it a bit infuriating that the resorts are very lax in enforcing rules. I was just in Breckenridge last week, and witnessed two boarders flying out of control into a sign saying "slow zone", and mowing two yellow jacket patrolmen in the process. And yes, in spite of this, about 10 minutes later they were parlaying their way out of losing their passes! I am not sure how true this is, but I was told that the thing to do, if you are hit and it doesn't look like the patrol or resort is taking it seriously, is to actually call 911. I don't think the resorts like that at all, but I find it offensive that they are willing to let people walk away with injuring somebody to avoid losing customers, while happily endangering all the other customers in the process. 

post #168 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocdoc View Post

What an odd thread. Someone hits a stopped downhill skier and flees the scene - and we are debating who's at fault? I also find it a bit infuriating that the resorts are very lax in enforcing rules. I was just in Breckenridge last week, and witnessed two boarders flying out of control into a sign saying "slow zone", and mowing two yellow jacket patrolmen in the process. And yes, in spite of this, about 10 minutes later they were parlaying their way out of losing their passes! I am not sure how true this is, but I was told that the thing to do, if you are hit and it doesn't look like the patrol or resort is taking it seriously, is to actually call 911. I don't think the resorts like that at all, but I find it offensive that they are willing to let people walk away with injuring somebody to avoid losing customers, while happily endangering all the other customers in the process. 

Would the cops arrive by ski?

Note, new TV show idea: "ski cops"
post #169 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by toddlasher View Post


Would the cops arrive by ski?

Note, new TV show idea: "ski cops"

FWIW, there's a show on National Geographic called "Rocky Mountain Law", set in Colorado. In one episode, a state trooper and a local sheriff are working together patrolling the BC on AT gear. 

post #170 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocdoc View Post
 

What an odd thread. Someone hits a stopped downhill skier and flees the scene - and we are debating who's at fault? I also find it a bit infuriating that the resorts are very lax in enforcing rules. I was just in Breckenridge last week, and witnessed two boarders flying out of control into a sign saying "slow zone", and mowing two yellow jacket patrolmen in the process. And yes, in spite of this, about 10 minutes later they were parlaying their way out of losing their passes! I am not sure how true this is, but I was told that the thing to do, if you are hit and it doesn't look like the patrol or resort is taking it seriously, is to actually call 911. I don't think the resorts like that at all, but I find it offensive that they are willing to let people walk away with injuring somebody to avoid losing customers, while happily endangering all the other customers in the process. 

Do you have any idea how many collisions there on in a busy resort every day?  And you expect patrol to play CSI on each one based on he said/she said evidence.  Cops are the way to go if you really want the assault taken seriously.

 

I'd suggest the bar is pretty high for patrol to want to play CSI, and even then their priorities are thorough assessment of all parties, first responder medical care and safe evacuation.  


Edited by fatbob - 2/17/16 at 3:14pm
post #171 of 172
post #172 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by sooneron View Post
 

Ah New Jersey, don't go changin'....

 

http://patch.com/new-jersey/parsippany/morris-county-doc-punched-boy-12-face-during-ski-rage-report-0

Nah he'll exercise the papabear defence that everyone seemed so keen on when a snowboard kid accidentally hit a smaller kid he couldn't even see a couple of years ago.

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